Lady Annie owners Austral Resources have their eye to the future with work underway to potentially exploit the operation’s large sulphide ore resource.
It comes on top of a new copper mining operation due to commence at their Anthill deposit and planned exploration work in the region.
“We have a further 10-year potential with sulphide resources which we are currently exploring,” managing director Shane O’Connell said.
“We’re an oxide processing facility, but we’ve got 44 million tonnes of in situ sulphide ore resources.
“We can’t currently process that, but we are developing these resources with an eye to future projects beyond Anthill.
“There are multiple processing facilities in the district for sulphide ores, and existing test work shows that our ores produce a high-grade, clean copper concentrate at an exceptional recovery.
“This work is very much in its infancy. It is not, at the moment, our primary focus.”
Austral Resources (a privately owned Australian company) acquired Lady Annie and its associated tenements from Chinese-owned CST Minerals in July last year.
The team initially produced copper by treating low-grade stockpiles on the site before turning its attention to extracting as much of the ore as commercially viable from the existing pits.
Now the company is working towards a new open-pit mining operation at their Anthill deposit, which is part of the Lady Annie package of tenements.
The company is also keen to prove up some of its other tenement areas between Mount Isa and Cloncurry – particularly the Cameron River area.
“That region is also an area of interest for Geological Survey of Queensland (GSQ) as part of the Queensland Government’s critical minerals initiative, so the focus on rare earth minerals will tie into our exploration too,” Mr O’Connell said.
“We have done desktop studies on the tenements we’ve inherited.
“We’ve retained most of them and the Cameron River project is certainly very exciting for us moving forward. We hope to explore that in depth next year.”